What do you get for a billionaire hero who has everything? If you’re Tony Stark, you get a brand-new trailer — and for fans of the legendary Iron Man, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.
We went through the trailer shot by shot to see what it portends for director Jon Favreau’s eagerly anticipated flick , hoping to find clues to how the character will be realized when he makes his way to the big screen this summer.
(Time codes count down from the top of the trailer.)
-2:21: The trailer starts with some shots we’ve seen before, of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) demonstrating his latest war weaponry in Iraq. The audio track of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” might seem a bit random, but the riff certainly gets things off on the right foot.
-2:18: We get a bit more of the well-traveled sequence, in which Stark cracks some jokes with his military escorts. Notice the tinkling ice cubes in that glass he’s swigging from, as if he were Dudley Moore in an “Arthur” movie — it’s Favreau foreshadowing the alcoholism that will haunt Stark in the sequel.
-2:11: “Is it better to be feared, or respected?” Downey asks. “I say, is it too much to ask for both?” This new trailer shows us the full-on demonstration of Stark Industries’ super-missiles, leading to a drool-worthy shot of the weaponry exploding behind Downey as he raises his hands like a god. Naturally, he then raises a toast “to peace.”
-1:59: The cocky Stark begins his downfall with a series of explosions, gunplay and a quick glimpse at the half-burned scalp of the mastermind behind his capture.
-1:54: “Tony Stark,” we hear a man’s voice saying through a thick accent. “Now you work for me.” Tied to a chair and surrounded by gun-toting henchmen, the image is provocative and germane to the classic origin story, much like Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” depiction of young Magneto at Auschwitz.
-1:49: An additional shot of Stark’s captor. Cool character or generic terrorist? Talk amongst yourselves.
-1:47: The escape begins. We see Stark at work, banging away on iron. Something tells me he’s not making an ashtray.
-1:42: As the doors to Stark’s cell threaten to blast open, a group of generic terrorists take a fearful step backward.
-1:39: A quick, shaded shot of the Mark 1 suit. As ZZ Top once sang, “Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man.”
-1:38: Speaking in the parlance of our times: Iron Man f—s some sh– up. Can I pay my $10 now, or do I need to wait until opening weekend?
-1:35: Newly released footage shows Tony arriving home and being greeted by his secretary/ love interest Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Sharp eyes will also notice Favs himself in a cameo, as the limo driver/ valet. We can only pray that his character’s name is Jeeves.
-1:34: A wounded (and considerably less cocky-looking) Stark returns to the U.S., being helped off the plane by his best friend and confidante, helicopter pilot Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard).
-1:31: Wait a minute — there’s dialogue in this movie? “Tears for your long-lost boss?” Tony asks Pepper, to which she replies: “Tears of joy. I hate job-hunting.” The sexual tension seems promising.
-1:27: Assorted shots of Tony’s swanky, hillside pad. Through his dress shirt, you can see the glowing electronic chest plate that keeps him alive.
-1:22: A good peek at the chrome-domed Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), arm in arm with the man he’ll soon try to destroy. Dude, you’re being very un-dude-like.
-1:19: We see the mask being placed on top of our eye’s view, followed by a cool shot of what it’s like inside that thing. Think of a Wii, but without the need to attach a nunchuck to the controller.
-1:17: Talk to the hand! Stark spins around in his lab, wielding his new five-finger weapon, and shoots a repulsor beam into his laboratory. Hope you’re not expecting to get that damage deposit back, Tony.
-1:15: More menacing shots of Bridge’s Stane, as he meets with Stark’s villainous former captor. “A man with a dozen of these,” he says of seized designs of Stark’s initial suit, “could rule all of Asia.” The setup here seems to be a backstory payoff, indicating that Stane, in fact, set up Stark’s capture and has been working in conjunction with the Middle Eastern kidnapper from the beginning. Unlike, say, the Joker, who is interested only in anarchy and chaos, Stane is a methodical supervillain known for setting up moves well in advance, with each act an incremental step to an overall goal — akin to a well-played game of chess. His goal here? Most likely a total takeover of Stark Industries.
-1:12: Stane supervises production on a replica suit that he will wear as Iron Monger.
-1:08: Stark on his first, hesitant, jerky flight: “Yeah, I can fly.”
-1:06: Our first look at the armor forming around Stark’s body. The way in which Stark has dressed himself in the comic has changed dramatically over the years, up to and including a time when Stark actually stored part of the suit in the hollows of his bones. In this and subsequent shots, the approach is much more flowing.
-1:02: Stark takes the suit on a primary test run. “Let’s see if this dog can hunt.”
-0:58: Yeah, about that hunting — it’s gonna need some work. Stark falls through two ceilings, once onto a piano and once onto a car. Interestingly, this brief sequence shows a fairly large departure for films made from Marvel comics, which have started with heroes already at the height of their powers (“X-Men”), or who learn way too fast and without many pratfalls (“Spider-Man”). Stark falling on his face here strikes us as belonging in “Batman Begins.” And we like it.
-0:53: Stark’s computer lets him know the new suit is ready. “Sir, the upgrade is complete.” “Tell ya what, throw a little hot-rod red in there,” Stark responds. Unlike nearly every other super, Iron Man’s appearance is constantly in flux as he upgrades and modifies his suit. And the Mark III is complete.
-0:48: It’s a holistic, biometric, highly weaponized, nearly indestructible suit of body armor capable of flight and protected by a high-energy force field.
-0:42: “Damn!” Jim Rhodes exclaims. Our thoughts exactly.
-0:39: When footage of “Iron Man” was shown at last year’s Comic-Con, the money shot was of Stark accelerating to catch up to two stealth fighters. The money shot here is of him air-braking. They never stood a chance.
-0:36: Stane’s Iron Monger armor assembles around him. It’s bigger and bulkier than Stark’s Mark III, with Stane’s own devious enhancements.
-0:32: Tony gets the girl. Again. Pepper and Stark share an intimate moment.
-0:28: “What’s going on here?” Pepper asks, walking in on Tony as he assembles his armor. “Let’s face it,” he responds. “This is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.” We’ve heard a lot of talk about comic book billionaire playboys who supposedly romance the town when they’re not saving the world. The mind reels at the possibilities of what Stark is referring to.
-0:24: Iron Man and Iron Monger do battle. Advantage? In the early going, it’s Iron Monger who throws Stark against a car.
-0:21: “There’s been speculation that I’ve been parading around as a superhero,” Stark says at a press conference, as images of him kicking ass and taking names are intercut. “I’m just not the hero type … clearly.” Yes, clearly.
-0:12: The trailer’s first dubious shot, and it comes at the end. A missile is fired at Stark from a tank. Stark calmly moves out of the way and fires a rocket back. The scene looks heavily CGI-ed, although it’s possible that’s done intentionally — there are rumors it’s from a virtual reality-fighting simulation.
-0:06: Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” All is forgiven.
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